Supposedly, slavery ended in 1865. However, we were treated just like we were still enslaved, and this is still the case today. Most of the immigrants came to this country seeking freedom of one sort or another. This includes the ‘founding fathers’, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and the men who drafted the Constitution of the United States. Many other immigrants came here through Ellis Island seeking a better life from tyranny and persecutions. We, however, came to these shores as slaves, stolen from Africa, in the bottom of special ships peddling a commodity, and we are still treated in this manner one hundred and fifty years later.
After the Civil War, we as a people created our own towns and cities using the various resources available to us. We made our own schools, businesses, churches and colleges. Our schools were burned down and our teachers lynched. Our colleges were destroyed as well as our churches and businesses. In Oklahoma we had our own Wall Street. This was bombed. Rosewood was a community in Florida that was completely destroyed, and many of its citizens slaughtered for nothing.
Recently, I learned that one of my father’s brothers was taken from jail in Florida in 1945 and lynched because some white person told a lie on him. No one was ever brought to justice for this murder. This is a case they are still talking about today in the Florida legal system. Neither my father nor his relatives ever mentioned this to us.
Recently, my son said to me, “Mom, why do you talk so much about our slavery here in this country? You link everything we face as people to our slavery experience. You seem to go ‘nuts’ during the month of February. From my experience this is not the case. I hang around kids from all races. I have friends from Arabia and they do not see me in this way. I can say the same for my white friends also. I can stay in their homes and be treated just like family. They can see that I am a black man, an African-American young male. It does not seem to bother them. They relate to me just like I am, a regular normal person.”
He further stated, “I do not feel we should have a month of Black History celebration. This should be a part of the regular American History text. This is what we should be emphasizing to the powers that be.”
I explained to my son that we were slaves longer than we have been free in this country. It was in this country that slavery became a matter of race and color. Even after the Civil War ended and the Emancipation Proclamation was in full force for the entire country; we as a people were still excluded from the main level of life here in America. This was known as segregation. In many states we were not allowed to vote like other citizens. They made up unjust laws. We could not attend schools like other children. We could not use the same public facilities. We, however, had to pay the same taxes like everyone. The only type of employment we could get were menial subservient positions, housekeepers, sharecroppers, etc.
We as a nation have been trying to share this type of freedom with the world at large through various means such as the United Nations, emphasizing the value of human life, various sanctions, and laws. We have helped to established nations such as Israel in May, 1948 for the Jewish people. We as a nation have helped to re-build nations after World Wars, because economically we were in a position to do so. The African-American slave built the foundations of this country strong enough to make all of this possible. For a long time Europe depended on our country for cotton, making our nation the “cotton king” of the world.
During the wars the United States became the arsenal of the European countries fighting Germany and its coalitions. Again the African-American slave made this possible. They built a foundation so strong that even now in our so-called weakened and confused state; the world is still depending upon us as a supportive nation. When there is a disaster,we are called upon for emergency assistance. The first thing you hear is “where is America?” The African-American slaves made all of this possible. When there is an internal problem within nations, they look for American help. Israel for example credited the United States with helping to protect both Israeli and Palestinian lives by the creating the Iron Dome System in dealing with the rockets fired at them by various terrorist organizations.
President Obama was recently given high praise by the Israeli Ambassador in his effort to stop the slaughter of more Syrian lives through the use of chemical warfare. The foundation builders, the African-American slave, made all of this a physical reality. Presently, through the ideals set forth by the United States, President Obama is working to establish a type of ‘global America’ by getting all nations involved in the responsibility of peace on earth by coming together to deal with the terrorist organization known as ISIS. This is another area that would not have been possible if the African-American slave had not built a strong foundation. Financially, our money has been the means of establishing a standard currency for the world.
Let me hear from you,